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Mid-game rally propels Plates to win

STAFF REPORTS


The Rochester Plates used a four-run fifth inning to top the league-leading Gwinnett Stripers 7-4 Thursday night at Frontier Field. The win moves Rochester in a tie for second place with Buffalo, five games behind division leading Scranton/WilkesBarre. The Louisville Bats (Reds) open a three-game set here on Friday night, with fireworks after the game.
Rochester starter Griffin Jax, in his Triple-A debut, allowed a lead-off double to begin the ball game. Andres Blanco, the next batter, singled in the run from second to give Gwinnett an early 1-0 lead. Blanco was thrown out stretching a single into a double.
Gwinnett struck again in the top of the second extending their lead. Former Red Wing Pedro Florimon hit a two-run home run off Jax to put the Stripers ahead 3-0.
The Plates offense was held in check the first three innings by Gwinnett starter Touki Toussaint. Only one base runner was generated, via a first inning walk by Wilin Rosario.
In the top of the fourth Jax retired the first two batters he faced but found himself in trouble after that. He allowed three consecutive baserunners, but was able to escape the jam only allowing one run to score. The Stripers had a 4-0 midway through the fourth inning.
Rochester bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth when Rosario hit a two-run home run landing over the bullpen in left field. It was Rosario's 16th home run of the year with Rochester.Alejandro De Aza hit a double the next at bat and he scored two batters later. Zander Wiel hit a bloop single to left to cut the Stripers lead to 4-3.
In the bottom of the fifth the Plates loaded up the bases with no outs. Rosario got the rally started with a base hit to center to tie the game at 4-4. It was Rosario's third RBI of the game. Gwinnett opted for a pitching change with one out in the inning. Toussaint finished with 4.1 innings pitched, allowing five hits, seven runs, four walks, and had eight strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches, 52 for strikes.
De Aza smacked a double off the center field wall, following the pitching change, to score two for the Plates and it gave them their first lead of the day at 6-4. The Plates scored one more run to extend their lead to 7-4.
Jax' night was over following the sixth inning. He lasted 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits, four runs, three walks, with three strikeouts. He threw 54 strikes out of 85 pitches.
Sam Clay took over to begin the top of the seventh. Clay struck out the side in the top of the seventh, and was replaced by Ryan Eades with two out and two on in the eighth. Eades allowed a single to load the bases, then caught Drew Waters looking at a called third strike to stifle the rally attempt. 
Eades set down the side in the ninth inning, striking out Lucas Duda to end the game and earn his third save. 

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